Kitchen Tips: How to Keep Eyes from Watering When Cutting Onions and How to Reuse Vegetable Water

Tackle these two tips to accomplish two tasks: Reusing water and staying dry-eyed while cutting an onion.

| February/March 2016

Cutting Onions

Follow this reader-submitted tip to cut back on tears while cutting onions.

Photo by Fotolia/minadezhda

I’ve figured out how to keep eyes from watering when cutting onions. I keep a few votive candles near my cutting board, and light one whenever I slice an onion. I light all three when I need to cut multiple onions for salsa or canning. I’m not sure why, but they keep my eyes from tearing up!

Also, try using plain, unsalted water to steam vegetables. Let the leftover water cool, and then water your houseplants or a flower that’s having trouble blooming. My plants seem to grow and flower even better with this water than if I’d used bagged, store-bought fertilizer.

M.J. Rathe
Filley, Nebraska

2/8/2016 10:20:35 AM

A quick comment on slicing onions, I dip mine in lemon juice first then use a mandolin with the 1/4 slices I use the thick cutting blade. I also use the liquid from the veggies, whether steamed or boiled, to add into the sauces I make. Even use the liquid from potatoes to use when mashing those.

mother earth news fair


Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!